After a general and theoretical reminder of marine communities and specificities of the coastal ecosystem, we’ll define and illustrate the main factors controlling the establishment, evolutions and succession of benthic and pelagic communities.
In connection with the theoretical approaches, four main practical works (PW) will permit to illustrate and conceptualize some factors controlling the communities.
1) PW1: We will test environmental factor controlling the phytoplankton community structure and seasonal variations though photo-acclimation and adaptation processes. This will allow us to illustrate bottom up structuring factors with emphasis on individualistic traits (abiotic tolerance) of species and their interactions with the environment (niche requirements).
2) PW2: Experiment of filtering feeder on natural phytoplankton communities. This will allow us to show the direct control of phytoplankton communities by benthic organisms. This predation process will illustrate a top down effect on community selection and the importance of bentho pelagic coupling in coastal environment.
3) PW3: Experiment of colonization of benthic macrofauna on new rocky subtidal substrate will illustrate the primary successional changes in benthic communities, interactions and competition processes in colonization of space.
4) PW4: The design and construction of a simple model combining the different factors controlling communities dynamic, will allow student to visualize the communities interactions with external environmental factor and internal dynamic (predation/competition) processes on different spatial and temporal scales.
General knowledge in marine ecology and oceanography
Role of communities in the functioning of costal ecosystem
Diversity of abiotic and biotic factors effects on community evolution
Acclimation and adaptation processes of populations
Consequences of populations' adaptation on the ecosystem functioning
Spatio-temporal succession in coastal communities